Community Collective Advocacy – April Newsletter

Our newsletter is quite different this month.  We’ve had to make (temporary) changes to how we operate our services at AdvoCard, so in this newsletter we will be letting you know how we are doing things just now in light of the current situation. 
We understand that this will be a difficult time for many of you.  Although we’ve had to make changes, we are still here and we are trying to find ways to provide as much support as we can to those who need it, both with individual advocacy and collective advocacy.
If we make any further changes, then we will update you on our website ( and in this newsletter.  

AdvoCard Community Collective Advocacy

There will be no April Edinburgh Community Voices meeting.  We are not able to hold collective advocacy meetings at this time.  However, at a time when mental health and wellbeing services have been affected by the present situation, and the situation itself creates extra challenges for people with lived experience of mental health issues, there has never been a more vital role for collective advocacy in supporting you to have your voice heard in shaping the treatment and support that you receive.
We had already started work to better include people who, for a variety of reasons, aren’t able to make it to meetings.  This gives us a good starting place to work from, and we are currently working from home on a plan for how to go from here.  We’ll keep you updated in this newsletter about how you can take part in collective advocacy.  We know that not everybody is online just now, so we are looking into ways to include people who can’t get online.  
If you know of anyone who would like to receive the newsletter but would not be able to receive it by email, including people who might be on our email list but normally access the internet outside of the home, please ask them to ring us on on 0131 554 5307.  (The call will be diverted to one of our workers or we’ll pick up your voicemail message.)

AdvoCard Individual Advocacy 

Our offices at the Royal Edinburgh Hospital and 332 Leith Walk are now closed and all our staff are working from home. Please call 0131 537 6004 if you want advocacy in the Royal Edinburgh Hospital. For all other community issues call 0131 554 5307 (Leith Walk). Your call will either be diverted to one of our workers or we’ll pick up your voicemail message as soon as we can.

We’re doing our best to keep up to date with the rapidly evolving guidance and practice around the Mental Health Act, Guardianship and Adult Protection.

For those of you who need support to complete a benefit form or to draft a reconsideration, Arlene can offer a telephone appointment with you on 07920207569 or can offer support by email at [email protected]

For our Problematic Substance Use service please call Scott on 07918127366 or email: [email protected] to find out more or to make a phone appointment.

Problematic Substance Use Collective Advocacy

Hi, I’m John and I’d like to tell you about a new service in our collective advocacy in problematic substance use.  It’s a collective voice for those who have lived experience in drugs and alcohol recovery.  And we want to create a space for people to come together to:

– have a chance to work with others with lived experience- make a difference for others- have your voice heard on issues important to you
The plan is to meet as a group, but we will have to delay that for the time being.However, we would still like to hear from you.  If you’d like to be part of the conversation just now, please answer the following 2 questions and send them to John at Advocard ([email protected], 07884 741 686).
1. In your recovery from drug and alcohol use, list the main issues you have faced (such as stigma, delays in receiving support, feel isolated, etc.).2. Would you like to help create a group of people with a similar lived experience and steer it forward?

Or, if you want to find out more, you can contact me on the above email and mobile.